Reviews for Vacationland : a novel

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Two half sisters who have never met—a New York University professor and a waitress—spend the summer in the small town of Rockland, Maine. Louisa Fitzgerald McLean, a tenured NYU history professor, is almost done with her sabbatical and feels like a complete mess. She hasn't been working on her planned book, her three children are taking up all her energy, and her husband, Steven, is so consumed with getting his new podcast company up and running that he has no time for her or the family. A decision is made: She and the children will spend the summer in Maine with her mother, Annie, and father, Martin—retired chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine—at her family’s vacation house while Steven stays in Brooklyn and works. Over the course of the summer, Mattie, 12, falls in love; Abigail, 10, writes letters to her father and loses herself in Bridge to Terabithia, board games, and the water; and Claire, 7, listens, watches, bosses people around, and has a tremendous time learning secrets and suffering the tragedies that only a youngest sibling can suffer. Everything looks—and is—wonderful, but Louisa and Steven’s marriage is under strain, her book isn’t coming along, her father’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, her mother’s endless reservoir of money is drying up, and she discovers that her father is not perfect. Kristie, a half sister Louisa never knew about, arrives in Maine, three years sober and looking for her own closure after her mother’s recent death. Author Moore has expertly woven together first-person narratives from Louisa; Kristie; Martin; the family’s housekeeper Pauline; and the children to create an engrossing story of one summer, many summers, multiple lives. A truly lovely tale of families, love, mistakes, forgiveness, and, yes, happiness. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.